Taking a cue from tennis on fairfoul calls


Taking a cue from tennis on fairfoul calls

Following Sunday's blown call in the A's-Giants season finale, there was no shortage of folks clamoring for Major League Baseball to expand its replay rules to include fairfoul calls. There are two problems with this.First, MLB already did approve expansion of replay prior to this season -- not only to include fairfoul but also whether a caught ball was trapped or caught. Unfortunately, the expansion has not been implemented as yet (much to the delight of Johan Santana) because MLB is still ironing out the fine points with the umpires union.The other problem -- at least as pertaining to fairfoul -- is replay isn't the always best option. It wasn't on the shot Seth Smith sent down the right field line on Sunday. Replay in such an instance would have stalled the game, then, assuming the call was changed to fair, resulted in an argument over how far the runners that were on base should be permitted to advance.Here's a better and dare I say, much more 21st century idea. Why doesn't baseball steal a page from tennis and put a sensor in the 1st and 3rd base bags that traverses the foul lines all the way to the outfield wall? If a ball hits the line, the sensor is tripped and a beep sound is emitted for all to hear. This would leave no doubt that the ball was fair and allow the play to continue unobstructed without a stoppage for replay and an argument over advancing the runners.This idea doesn't fix everything. Obviously an umpire will still have to make a call if the ball lands on either side of the line -- but that should be a fairly easy call to make.And replay will still be beneficial for home runs that leave the yard near a foul poll as well as balls that travel over the bag and land in foul territory.Nonetheless, introducing a sensor on the foul lines would certainly alleviate a large percentage of the fairfoul calls, which would mean fewer in-game delays to check the replay system that MLB has already approved and will be instituting in the near future.

Report: Ex-A's outfielder agrees to $13 million deal with Yankees

Report: Ex-A's outfielder agrees to $13 million deal with Yankees

XON HILL, Md. — A person familiar with the negotiations says free agent outfielder Matt Holliday and the New York Yankees have agreed to a $13 million, one-year contract.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday night because the agreement had not yet been announced.

Holliday, who turns 37 next month, fits into the Yankees strategy of signing veterans to short-term deals while pivoting toward a youth movement.

A seven-time All-Star, Holliday was drafted by Colorado in 1998, traded to Oakland after the 2008 season and then dealt to St. Louis the following July. He hit .246 with 20 homers and 62 RBIs in 110 games this year, missing substantial time after his left thumb was broken when he was hit by a pitch on Aug. 11.

Holliday became a free agent when St. Louis declined his $17 million option.

Mariners sign former A's lefty reliever to $11 million deal over two years

Mariners sign former A's lefty reliever to $11 million deal over two years

The Seattle Mariners have signed free agent lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski to a two-year contract.

Rzepczynski's deal is fo $11 million over two years. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN first reported details of the contract

The Mariners also signed right-handed reliever Casey Fien on Saturday. Left-hander Dean Kiekhefer and righty Zach Lee were designated for assignment.

The 31-year-old Rzepczynski was a combined 1-0 with a 2.64 ERA in 70 games for Oakland and Washington this season. He then pitched three times in the NL playoffs for the Nationals.

Rzepczynski has made at least 70 appearances in each of the last three years. He's also pitched for Toronto, St. Louis, Cleveland and San Diego in an eight-season career.

The 33-year-old Fien was 1-1 with a 5.49 ERA in 39 games for Minnesota and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 27-year-old Kiekhefer made his major league debut last season and pitched 26 times in relief for the Cardinals. Seattle claimed him off waivers from St. Louis last month.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.